|Studio album by|
|Released||March 2, 2008|
|Recorded||October – December 2007|
|Label||The Null Corporation|
|Nine Inch Nails chronology|
|Halo numbers chronology|
Ghosts I–IV is the sixth studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released by The Null Corporation on March 2, 2008. It was the band's first independent release following their split from longtime label Interscope Records in 2007. The album's production team included Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, studio collaborators Atticus Ross and Alan Moulder, and instrumental contributions from Alessandro Cortini, Adrian Belew, and Brian Viglione.
Reznor described the music of Ghosts as "a soundtrack for daydreams", a sentiment echoed by critics, who compared it to the work of Brian Eno and Robert Fripp. The tracks are unnamed, identified only by their track listing and group number, and it is an almost entirely instrumental album. Although initially intended to be a five-track EP, the final release consisted of four nine-track EPs, totaling 36 tracks. The album was released under a Creative Commons license (BY-NC-SA) and in a variety of differing packages and prices, including a $300 Ultra-Deluxe Limited Edition, without prior announcement. A YouTube-based film festival was also announced, inviting fans to visually interpret the music and post their submissions, but no mention has been made of the festival since its announcement.
Ghosts I–IV received a favorable reception from critics, who complimented its experimental nature and unorthodox release method. The album reached number 14 in the US, and was nominated for two Grammy Awards (Best Rock Instrumental Performance and Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package) representing the first time music released under a Creative Commons license had been nominated for a Grammy Award. For Reznor himself, Ghosts turned out to be a turning point that foreshadowed the following stream of soundtrack albums (as of March 2020, eleven) recorded and labeled together with Ross, including three consecutive collaborations with director David Fincher: The Social Network (2010), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), and Gone Girl (2014).
On March 26, 2020, Nine Inch Nails released two free follow-up albums: Ghosts V: Together , and Ghosts VI: Locusts .
Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor announced in 2007 that the band had completed its contractual obligations to its record label, Interscope Records, and would no longer be working with the company. He also revealed that the band would likely distribute its next album independently, possibly in a fashion similar to Saul Williams' 2007 album The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust! , which Reznor produced.
Following the Performance 2007 Tour in support of the band's previous album Year Zero (2007), Reznor set out to make a record "with very little forethought". ... something." Reznor explained, "I've been considering and wanting to make this kind of record for years, but by its very nature it wouldn't have made sense until this point".Ghosts I–IV originated from an experiment: "The rules were as follows: 10 weeks, no clear agenda, no overthinking, everything driven by impulse. Whatever happens during that time gets released as
The core creative team behind the project was Reznor, Atticus Ross, and Alan Moulder. Live-band member Alessandro Cortini and studio musicians Adrian Belew and Brian Viglione also contributed instrumental performances on select tracks.Reznor described the band's early intentions for the project as "an experiment", and explained the group's process: "When we started working with the music, we would generally start with a sort of visual reference that we had imagined: a place, or a setting, or a situation. And then attempt to describe that with sound and texture and melody. And treat it, in a sense, as if it were a soundtrack."
The musicians created the album tracks through improvisation and experimentation. As a result, the initial plan to release a single EP of the material expanded to include the increasing amount of material. ... be creative—See where your mind and your ideas take you." Viglione's makeshift drum kit included a 50-gallon trash can, a pair of water cooler jugs, and a cookie tray with a chain across it. Alessandro Cortini is credited on a total of ten tracks from Ghosts for his contributions on guitar, bass guitar, dulcimer, and electronics. Cortini was brought onto the project two weeks into the process, and his involvement evolved from "first recording some extra parts to some tracks" and eventually into "a collaboration on [the] tracks noted in the booklet". Adrian Belew was also brought on for select instrumental contributions, but as the project evolved Reznor expanded Belew's involvement and shared writing credit with him on two tracks.Viglione contributed percussion to tracks 19 and 22. He stated that Reznor's instructions to him were to "build a drumkit. Piece together any stuff that you want to bang on; rent what you want to rent. Have fun and
Ghosts I–IV is an almost entirely instrumental album, with only a few tracks containing sampled vocals. Reznor described the album's sound as "the result of working from a very visual perspective—dressing imagined locations and scenarios with sound and texture; a soundtrack for daydreams." ' sound as "mental wallpaper".PopMatters' review of the album compared its musical style to that of Brian Eno and Robert Fripp, ultimately categorizing it as "dark ambient". The review went on to describe the music as "a tonal painting, a collection of moods and not all of these moods are good ones." NPR compared the album to the music of Erik Satie and Brian Eno. Rolling Stone also compared the album to the work of Brian Eno, specifically the album's sound to the instrumentals of Another Green World (1975) and the rhythm collages of My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1981). Robert Christgau also compared the album to the work of Brian Eno, summarizing Ghosts
Ghosts I–IV features a wide assortment of musical instruments, including piano, guitar, bass, synthesizer, marimba, tambourine, banjo, dulcimer, and xylophone, many of which were sampled and distorted electronically.Percussion instruments, contributed primarily by Brian Viglione, were constructed largely out of found objects and household items.
Rob Sheridan acted as the album's art director, in collaboration with Artist in Residence. Sheridan was also art director for the previous two Nine Inch Nails studio albums, With Teeth (2005) and Year Zero .Since Ghosts was released in a variety of versions, some of the versions feature somewhat differing (or additional) album art and related artwork. A 40-page PDF comes with each version of the album and contains a photograph for each of the 36 tracks. These photographs are also embedded into the ID3 tags of every downloadable track.
Ghosts I–IV was released online on March 2, 2008, on the official Nine Inch Nails website in a number of different formats at various price points. gram vinyl set in a fabric slipcase, and two exclusive limited edition Giclée prints, unique to each copy. These were limited to 2,500 pieces, each copy numbered and signed by Trent Reznor. Reznor described the limited edition release as "the most luxurious physical package we've ever created." Finally, the album was also released on 4-LP 130 gram vinyl, set in a double gate fold package, for $39.The only prior advertisement or notice of the release was a post by Reznor two weeks prior on the site saying "2 weeks!" Ghosts was the first album released by Reznor's independent label The Null Corporation. Retail copies of the album were distributed by RED Distribution on April 8 on CD and vinyl formats, and May 1 for the "Deluxe" and "Ultra-Deluxe" editions. The smallest Ghosts package contains the first nine tracks, available for free online from either the official Nine Inch Nails website or officially from various BitTorrent trackers, including The Pirate Bay. The entire album was also made available for download directly from the band for US$5. Physical copies of the album were available for pre-sale online, with immediate access to the digital version. A two-disc version includes two audio CDs and a 16-page booklet for $10. A "Deluxe Edition" is available for $75 and includes two audio CDs, a data-DVD containing multitrack files of the album, a Blu-ray Disc with the album in high-definition stereo and accompanying slide show, and a 48-page hardcover book with photographs. A $300 "Ultra-Deluxe Limited Edition" included everything in the "Deluxe" edition, as well as a 4-LP 180
The album is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license, in effect allowing anyone to use or rework the material for any non-profit purpose, as long as credit is provided and the resulting work is released under a similar license. [...] with digital technology, and outdated copyright laws, and all the nonsense that's going on these days". Jim Guerinot, then manager of Nine Inch Nails, explained the unconventional release of the album as "[not] a reaction to what doesn’t exist today. [...] it’s more just like, 'Hey, in a vacuum I can do whatever I want to do.'" The digital-release of the album reportedly required an extensive overhaul of the Nine Inch Nails website in order for the site to cope with the influx of traffic, online-payments, and customer service needs of releasing the album. These upgrades cost Reznor approximately $20,000 to implement. Despite these measures, upon the release of Ghosts the site crashed, and additional servers were necessary to handle the traffic.Reznor explained this move by saying "It's a stance we're taking that we feel is appropriate
Reznor wrote in 2008 that "more volumes of Ghosts are likely to appear in the future."In a 2009 interview with Trent Vanegas, he repeated his intention to make another Ghosts album in the near future. Portions of the album were used as the soundtrack to the 2014 documentary film Citizenfour . The song "34 Ghosts IV" was sampled by music producer YoungKio for a beat subsequently used on the 2018 Lil Nas X song "Old Town Road". As a result, Reznor and Ross were given writing credits for the song. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in April 2019 and stayed there for a record-breaking nineteen consecutive weeks. The song also earned both Reznor and Ross a Country Music Association Awards nomination for Musical Event of the Year.
Nearly two weeks after the release of the album, Reznor organized and announced a user-created "film festival" as an accompaniment to the album, hosted at the official Nine Inch Nails YouTube channel.It was revealed that the album was stripped of much artwork and song titles to provide a blank canvas for the project. Reznor explained that the endeavor was not meant as a contest, but as "an experiment in collaboration and a chance for us to interact beyond the typical one-way artist-to-fan relationship." Over 2,000 video submissions were posted and over 13,000 members joined the festival group, which started in March 2008.
Ghosts I–IV material was implemented into Nine Inch Nails live performances typically as a distinct section of instrumental songs midway through the show.Ghosts material was performed in this manner primarily as part of the Lights in the Sky tour in 2008, immediately after the album's release. During these segments the music was largely acoustic, as opposed to the electric instrumentation of other Nine Inch Nails live sets. The Ghosts segment included instrumentation from a marimba, harmonium, glockenspiel, double bass, banjo and various homemade percussion instruments. The Ghosts section was later scrapped for the "NINJA" and "Wave Goodbye" tours, as Reznor felt the instrumental songs did not fit with the set lists.
|MSN Music (Consumer Guide)||A−|
Critical response to Ghosts I–IV was generally favorable, with an average rating of 69/100 based on 12 reviews on Metacritic. Seth Colter Walls of Newsweek described the album as "the kind of absorbing musical experience that the surviving ranks of know-it-all record-store clerks would be pushing on customers, if only they could offer it for sale." IGN gave the album a rating of 8.7 out of 10 and wrote, "The music is so engrossing and encompassing that time ceases to be a factor—at least until the music finally stops." PopMatters gave the album an 8 out of 10 and described the album as "36 tracks, but no songs", and went on to call it "dark, brooding [...] haunting." Pitchfork criticized the album by saying "nearly every one of the untitled instrumental sketches here feels emaciated and half-finished", and gave the work a 5.0 out of 10.0. Blender also criticized the album, summarizing the review by saying "Nine Inch Nails return with no label oversight, no boundaries and no tunes." The Washington Post stated, "There's too much here. Yet it's the most interesting NIN in years." The review went on to describe each track as "the sonic equivalent of a silver orb hovering in your living room [which then] explodes into a million shiny balls of mercury that splash to the floor before trickling, magnetically, back into a large round mass."
The album's unorthodox distribution methods also garnered the attention of various news agencies, such as Wired's Eliot Van Buskirk, who labeled Ghosts as "a remarkably extensive release". [...] could learn a lot from [Reznor's] experiments with online business models." Many news agencies compared the release to Radiohead's 2007 "pay what you want" digital release of In Rainbows , as well as the similar release of Saul Williams' album The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust! the same year, which Reznor produced. Rolling Stone 's review called the album a "a new-media showpiece", while Tiny Mix Tapes said "the circumstances surrounding the release are so forward-thinking that they could be considered just as key to appreciating the album as the music itself." Financial website The Motley Fool wrote an article on the album's release titled "Music Industry Gets Nailed Again", forecasting that "Innovators like Nine Inch Nails are paving the way for new media business models that may bypass the middleman while making sure artists and fans are happy." In its review of The Slip, however, PopMatters described Ghosts I–IV in retrospect as an "aimless batch of ... instrumentals packaged in a brilliant marketing scheme" and said that it was "basically a CD release with a couple of mail-order special editions available for the 'true fans'."Ben Worthen of The Wall Street Journal hypothesized that "most business execs
Ghosts was nominated for two Grammy Awards, under the categories Best Rock Instrumental Performance for the track "34 Ghosts IV", and Best Boxed Set or Limited Edition Package for the "Ultra-Deluxe" edition of the album. 46 in its "100 People Who Are Changing America" list, concluding that he has "been more creative than anyone in embracing the post-CD era".These nominations represented the first time music licensed under Creative Commons had been nominated for a Grammy Award. Following the release of Ghosts and the similar online release method of the band's follow-up, The Slip, Reznor was awarded the Webby Artist of the Year Award at the annual Webby Awards in 2009. Rolling Stone magazine named Reznor number
The album's initial release on the official Nine Inch Nails website suffered problems as the website was inundated with traffic, and was not fully operational until extra servers were added to handle the influx of downloads. million in sales. Pre-orders of the $300 "Ultra-Deluxe Limited Edition" sold out in less than 30 hours of its release.A week after the album's release, the official Nine Inch Nails site reported over 780,000 purchase and download transactions, amassing over $1.6
The physical release of the album debuted at number 14 on the US Billboard 200 with 26,000 copies sold in its first week. 's Dance/Electronic Albums chart. It had sold 149,000 copies in the United States by May 2013. Internationally, Ghosts peaked at number three in Canada, number 15 in Australia, number 26 in New Zealand, number 58 in Austria, and number 60 in the United Kingdom.The album also topped Billboard
In 2019, Lil Nas X included a sample from "34 Ghosts IV" in his hit song “Old Town Road”, which reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and held the record for longest charting number one song ever.
The release of Ghosts I–IV foreshadowed the following stream of soundtrack albums recorded and labelled by Reznor and Ross, apart from Nine Inch Nails catalogue. The duo's three consecutive collaborations with director David Fincher: The Social Network (2010), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), and Gone Girl (2014), were followed by subsequent works: Before the Flood (2016), as well as scores for Patriots Day (2017), The Vietnam War (2017), Mid90s (2018), Bird Box (2018), Watchmen (2019), Waves (2019), and Soul (2020).
On March 26, 2020, as a response to the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic, the band released the previously unannounced Ghosts V: Together and Ghosts VI: Locusts for free download on the band's website, YouTube channel, and streaming platforms.
All tracks are written by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, except where noted.
|1.||"1 Ghosts I"||2:48|
|2.||"2 Ghosts I"||3:16|
|3.||"3 Ghosts I"||3:51|
|4.||"4 Ghosts I" (writers: Alessandro Cortini, Reznor, Ross)||2:13|
|5.||"5 Ghosts I"||2:51|
|6.||"6 Ghosts I"||4:18|
|7.||"7 Ghosts I"||2:00|
|8.||"8 Ghosts I"||2:56|
|9.||"9 Ghosts I"||2:47|
|10.||"10 Ghosts II"||2:42|
|11.||"11 Ghosts II" (writers: Cortini, Reznor, Ross)||2:17|
|12.||"12 Ghosts II"||2:17|
|13.||"13 Ghosts II"||3:13|
|14.||"14 Ghosts II"||3:05|
|15.||"15 Ghosts II"||1:53|
|16.||"16 Ghosts II"||2:30|
|17.||"17 Ghosts II" (writers: Cortini, Reznor, Ross)||2:13|
|18.||"18 Ghosts II"||5:22|
|19.||"19 Ghosts III" (writers: Cortini, Reznor, Ross, Brian Viglione)||2:11|
|20.||"20 Ghosts III"||3:39|
|21.||"21 Ghosts III"||2:54|
|22.||"22 Ghosts III" (writers: Cortini, Reznor, Ross, Viglione)||2:31|
|23.||"23 Ghosts III"||2:43|
|24.||"24 Ghosts III"||2:39|
|25.||"25 Ghosts III" (writers: Adrian Belew, Reznor, Ross)||1:58|
|26.||"26 Ghosts III"||2:25|
|27.||"27 Ghosts III" (writers: Belew, Reznor, Ross)||2:51|
|28.||"28 Ghosts IV"||5:22|
|29.||"29 Ghosts IV" (writers: Cortini, Reznor, Ross)||2:54|
|30.||"30 Ghosts IV"||2:58|
|31.||"31 Ghosts IV"||2:25|
|32.||"32 Ghosts IV"||4:25|
|33.||"33 Ghosts IV" (writers: Cortini, Reznor, Ross)||4:01|
|34.||"34 Ghosts IV"||5:52|
|35.||"35 Ghosts IV"||3:29|
|36.||"36 Ghosts IV"||2:19|
Included with the "Deluxe" and "Ultra-Deluxe" releases were two additional bonus tracks, accessible only by reconstructing them from multi-track files provided on the DVD. The second bonus track features musical elements and a similar song structure to "Demon Seed", track 10 from what would be the next Nine Inch Nails release, The Slip .
Album credits adapted from the liner notes of Ghosts I–IV:
The Downward Spiral is the second studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on March 8, 1994, by Nothing Records and Interscope Records in the United States and by Island Records in Europe. It is a concept album detailing the destruction of a man from the beginning of his "downward spiral" to his death by suicide. The Downward Spiral features elements of industrial rock, techno and heavy metal music, in contrast to the band's synthpop-influenced debut album Pretty Hate Machine (1989), and was produced by Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and Flood.
Nine Inch Nails, commonly abbreviated as NIN, is an American industrial rock band formed in 1988 in Cleveland, Ohio. Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Trent Reznor was the only permanent member of the band until the addition of English musician Atticus Ross in 2016.
Michael Trent Reznor is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and film score composer. He is the founder, lead vocalist, and principal songwriter of the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, which he founded in 1988 and of which he was the sole official member until adding long-time collaborator Atticus Ross as a permanent member in 2016. His first release under the Nine Inch Nails name, the 1989 album Pretty Hate Machine, was a commercial and critical success. He has since released 11 Nine Inch Nails studio albums. He left Interscope Records in 2007 and was an independent recording artist until signing with Columbia Records in 2012.
And All That Could Have Been is a double album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on January 22, 2002 by Nothing and Interscope Records. The live album contains music recorded during the Fragility v2.0 US tour in 2000. Disc one is a live album of most of their normal set list of the time, while disc two contains a studio album titled Still, containing "deconstructed" versions of previous Nine Inch Nails songs and some new material. The double DVD set, sold separately, includes video recordings of the songs performed on the CD, as well as additional song performances and footage from the tour.
Pretty Hate Machine is the debut studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on October 20, 1989 by TVT Records. The album is compiled of reworked tracks from the Purest Feeling demo, as well as songs composed after its original recording. Production of the record was handled by Flood and Trent Reznor, among other contributors.
The Fragile is the third studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released as a double album on September 21, 1999, by Nothing and Interscope Records. It was produced by Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and longtime collaborator Alan Moulder. It was recorded throughout 1997 to 1999 in New Orleans.
With Teeth is the fourth studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on May 3, 2005 by Nothing Records and Interscope Records. The album was produced by Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and long-time collaborator Alan Moulder. It also features contributions from musician Dave Grohl and future band member Atticus Ross.
"The Hand That Feeds" is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released as the lead single from their fourth studio album, With Teeth (2005). It is the highest charting song by Nine Inch Nails on all charts except for U.S. Modern Rock Tracks, where it stayed at number one for five weeks, because the single that followed, "Only", stayed at number one for two more weeks (non-consecutively), and the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number 31, bested only by the group's 1999 single "The Day the World Went Away", which peaked at number 17 but did not chart anywhere else in the U.S. and never had any popular success, making it one of their less popular singles. It is, to date, Nine Inch Nails' only single to hit the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart, as well as their highest-charting single on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, peaking at number two. It was also a crossover hit, crossing over to pop radio as their first top 40 radio hit since "Closer" and "Hurt" in 1994 and 1995, respectively, peaking at number 31 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails have released eleven studio albums, one live album, three remix albums, one box set, six extended plays, 20 singles, nine promotional singles, four video albums and 31 music videos. Nine Inch Nails has also contributed to numerous film soundtracks as well as the soundtrack to the video game Quake.
Alessandro Cortini is an Italian musician best known for being the keyboard player in the American band Nine Inch Nails, Cortini is also the frontman for the Los Angeles-based electronic-alternative band SONOIO.
Nine Inch Nails, an industrial rock band fronted by Trent Reznor, has toured all over the world since its creation in 1988. While Reznor—the only official member until adding Atticus Ross in 2016—controls its creative and musical direction in the studio, the touring band performs different arrangements of the songs. In addition to regular concerts, the band has performed in both supporting and headlining roles at festivals such as Woodstock '94, Lollapalooza 1991 and 2008, and many other one-off performances including the MTV Video Music Awards. Prior to their 2013 tour, the band had played 938 gigs.
Year Zero is the fifth studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released by Interscope Records on April 17, 2007. Conceived while touring in support of the band's previous album, With Teeth (2005), the album was recorded throughout late-2006, and was produced by frontman Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. It was the band's last album for Interscope, following Reznor's departure the same year over a dispute of overseas pricing.
"Discipline" is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails from their seventh studio album, The Slip (2008). It was released on April 22, 2008 as a single from the album. It is the band's first single since severing its ties with Interscope Records and publishing music independently.
The Slip is the seventh studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on May 5, 2008 digitally on the Nine Inch Nail website, and on CD on July 22 by The Null Corporation. It was their second release in 2008, following their sixth album Ghosts I-IV, released two months prior. The album was produced by frontman Trent Reznor with collaborators Atticus Ross and Alan Moulder.
The Twenty Thirteen Tour was a concert tour by industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails to support the album Hesitation Marks. It marked the return of the band for live performances after a four-year touring hiatus. It began on July 26, 2013 and ended on August 30, 2014.
Hesitation Marks is the eighth studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on August 30, 2013, by Columbia Records. It was the band's first release in five years, following The Slip (2008), as well as their only release on Columbia. Like previous albums, the album was produced by frontman Trent Reznor alongside longtime collaborators Atticus Ross and Alan Moulder.
Not the Actual Events is the fifth extended play (EP) by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails. It was released physically on December 23, 2016, under Trent Reznor's own label The Null Corporation, while those who had pre-ordered received a download link a day early. The second Nine Inch Nails EP of original material following Broken (1992), it marks longtime collaborator Atticus Ross's first appearance as an official member of the band. The digital pre-orders included a "physical component" that was shipped in early March 2017. The EP is the first in a trilogy released between 2016-2018, preceding Add Violence (2017) and the band's ninth studio album Bad Witch (2018).
Ghosts V: Together is the tenth studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails. It was released digitally for free download on March 26, 2020, as a show of solidarity with the band's fans during the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic. It is a follow-up to the band's 2008 instrumental album Ghosts I–IV, and the immediate predecessor to Ghosts VI: Locusts, which was released on the same day.
Ghosts VI: Locusts is the eleventh studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails. It was released digitally for free download on March 26, 2020, as a show of solidarity with the band's fans during the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic. It is a follow-up to the band's 2008 instrumental album Ghosts I–IV, and the immediate follow-up to Ghosts V: Together, which was released on the same day.
I became a part of the process two weeks into the sessions, I believe, first recording some extra parts to some tracks, then the whole process evolved to a collaboration on those tracks noted in the booklet. Essentially I am doing something where my name appears, not everywhere.